Cashew Nut Production in Southern Tanzania-Water Balance of Cashew Trees In Relation to Spacing

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Tapley R. G.
Dagg M.
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Cashew nut trees flourish at wide spacing’s in a rainfall regime of 900 mm. and evaporation of 2,000 mm., but mature trees produce little crop at close spacing, 20 ft. x 20 ft. The suggestion that this is due to water competition is examined quantitatively from an agrometeorological approach for conditions of full canopy, wide spacing with grass surround and wide spacing with bare soil surround. The results show that under closed canopy conditions severe moisture stress will develop very early in the dry season and that a crop is improbable, whereas clean-weeded, isolated trees have access to enough water to transpire freely throughout the dry season and so maintain maximum growth. The spreading rooting habit of the cashew nut tree is the critical factor in the successful adaptation of the tree to its dry environment. Close spacing nullifies this factor.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XXXIII (No. 1), p. 88-94